It’s always a bittersweet time of year here at the Institute. On May 14, 2022 we will be congratulating and saying goodbye to our current lab assistant. Andrew Gude has worked in the lab since last May. Andrew has been a great addition to the team during his time here. He has added both charisma and humor to the lab. We will definitely miss his wit during his next chapter in life.
Andrew likes to joke that he was brainwashed as a child, often hearing some rendition of “You’re going to Iowa State to study engineering, so you don’t need to worry about it.” So, he always knew he would be attending Iowa State University. When asked how long he has been at the university his reply was,
“Too long. I am wrapping up my second undergraduate degree from ISU.” He took interest in working with us as he was on the goal to pursue a career in brewery quality assurance.
He thought experience in wine quality assurance would translate well. Although his end goal changed slightly as he accepted a position as a winemaker at Madison County Winery with Doug Bakker. We are always so proud to see our lab assistant find a career in the industry. We hope to keep in touch over the years and see what life has in store for him.
We are also excited to share with everyone that our very own staff member, Erin Norton, PhD. is also graduating this year with her PhD in Food Science & Technology. Erin started this journey in January 2017. She has been interested in pursuing her PhD as she was interested in the questions that her research sought to answer. She figured that if the Institute was going to be investigating these things, she might as well get something more out of it. Now that she is done she said she feels a lot of relief and happiness.
So, what does the future hold? Erin will be staying on in her role at Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute. She will continue with education and research projects. “I think my research generated a lot of questions that still need answers.” Some advice she has for someone seeking to continue their education would be:
- Ask yourself what the end goal is (and personal satisfaction is an ok end goal).
- Be sure to have a support team.
- Commit 100%.
One of her biggest challenges during her journey was to wear so many different hats.
“I kept working my full-time job on top of classes and research. I also have a family at home so there were a lot of different types of priorities that were pulling at me.”
We wish both Andrew and Erin all the best with their future endeavors.